How To Copy Path In Mac Using 5 Different Methods!

Evan Ruiz
Owner at - Techi Show

I am a professional laptop and computer troubleshooter, tech editor who loves to talk about technology and software. My passion is electronics devices. Follow me...Read more

File path refers to the location of any directories of an operating system. If you’re a programmer, you’ll probably need to copy file directories to pull out existing works from your Mac. But, it gets so nerve-wracking over time to keep track of all the locations of hundreds of directories.

One way to make this work a lot easier is to learn how to copy path in a Mac computer. You can copy file paths in Mac OS in multiple ways. But the easiest way to copy file path is to use “Go to folder” and command+C keyboard shortcut. 

Go through this entire article to acknowledge all possible ways of copying file paths in Mac OS. And then decide what method suits you the best.

Quick Facts:

  • A file path is a sequential way or route following which you can go from the desktop to a definite file, folder, or directories.
  • All files and folders have their unique file path.
  • You can explore and locate lots of files in a short time using file paths.
  • The file path of a folder or directory contains names and signs of the host files and folders where a target file resides.

What Is A Path Directory?

A directory on Mac OS is a location where you can find other references and their sub-directories. In a general sense, the directory is the same as what we call folder on Windows.

What Is a Path Directory

That said, path directory simply means the address of a directory you are looking for.A complete path directory is used for locating or pinning the target directory in Mac.

There are two types of paths for locating and tracking a directory- absolute path directory and relative path directory. We’ll get into more detail on the two type later in this article.

What Does a File Path Look Like?

File paths look different in different operating systems. But the general structure and format of file paths are the same for all. A general mac file path example is /Users/desktop/mac.png

What Does a File Path Look Like

Structure of Absolute File path

The file path of a particular file or folder contains strings of characters, backward slash, directional arrows, names of files, etc.

There are two leading directory names present initially and in the last part of the file path. At the starting point, you can find the name of the drive or root directory. 

And at the last part of file paths, you can see the directory name of the target folder or file. Moreover, a colon “:” sign is present in the prominent drive letter in file paths.

Structure of Relative File path

You can use a relative path directory to track the target directory you are looking for.  The structure is slightly different from the absolute file path in the relative file path. It uses pathnames relative to the starting point. Therefore, there is no specific initial directory name for the relative file paths.

It is mainly used to develop a website with a connecting server where the main shared files reside.

How To Copy Path In Mac

Copying file paths have enormous uses for leading and relative users of a Mac. It helps a user quickly find a particular file, document, or folder.

How To Copy Path In Mac

Considering you are a web designer and using your MacBook as the central server, you need to know how to copy the file paths quickly and effectively.

We’ll be looking at the most widely used routes and methods to copy file paths in Mac Operating System. This includes copy path mac shortcuts also.

1. Copying From The Instant Side Menu

It is the most straightforward process to copy file paths of a directory of your choice. These methods work similarly in Windows operating system.

But you have to keep in mind that a standard context menu and a context menu holding the Shift button are different. Follow below stated step-by-step guide to copy file paths in Mac efficiently.

  • Firstly, go to the Folder/File/Document/Folder location in the drive or any directory.
  • Now, select the file by clicking the mouse’s left button after placing the cursor on it.
  • After that, click on the mouse’s right button without moving the cursor. A side menu will instantly pop up.
  • On your keyboard, press and hold the “Option” button.

  • Finally, select “Copy file name as path name.” The path will be automatically saved in the clipboard, which you can further paste on any text editor applications.

2. Copying from the File Information Option

We are familiar with the “Properties” option in Windows Operating System. It shows all necessary information about a file or a directory.

Similarly, the “Info” option gives you all essential information about a folder or file in Mac Operating System. But unlike Windows OS, it is a bit tricky to get the Information in Mac OS.

  • At first, go to the target directory or file whose path you want to copy.
  • Place your cursor on it and click the right button on the mouse. The side context menu will pop up for that particular selected file.
  • Now, choose the “Get Info” option located at the bottom of the Menu.
  • A new dialogue box will open.
  • Check the “Where” option. Adjacent to it, you will find the entire file path for that file or directory.

  • Finally, highlight it by holding and swiping the mouse cursor. Then copy it from the context menu.

Just a quick reminder, you can use this method only to know the directory’s exact location.

3. By using the “Go To Folder”

Out of many small yet unique features of the Mac operating system, the “Go To Folder” option is one of them. This option instantly takes you to the specific folder whose file path you type into it.

Moreover, you can also use this to copy the file paths of a particular document.

  • At first, by staying on the Finder, click on the “Go” button.
  • You have to select “Go To Folder” from the drop-down menu. A new dialogue box will open named “Go To Folder.”
  • Click and hold the file whose path you want to copy. While holding the file, drag it to typing area of “Go To Folder” and drop it by releasing the mouse’s button.

  • You can see that the complete file path of that specific file has popped up in “Go To Folder.”
  • Highlight the path and press Command+C to copy it. The path will be saved in the primary clipboard.
  • Finally, you can paste it in a text format to any text editing software.

4. Copying File Path Using the Terminal Program

The Terminal application is similar to the command prompt of the Windows Operating System. It is a bit hassling to find and open Terminal in Mac.

It is mainly used to execute different commands you give the device in writing. But, Terminal can also be used to display a file path of a directory or a document.

  • At first, open any drive or folder on your desktop.
  • Move the mouse cursor to the “GO” button from the Finder taskbar and click it. A drop-down menu will be displayed.
  • Navigate the cursor to the “Utilities” option from the drop menu and launch the Terminal application.

  • Keep the launched program on one side of the desktop.
  • Go to the target file or folder and select it by clicking and holding the mouse button.
  • Drag the file directly to Terminal App, and you can see that the file path of the dropped file has been displayed.
  • Using a mouse, you can highlight the path and copy it easily. The path can be pasted to text format now.

5. Customizing The Context Menu

While clicking the right mouse button after placing a file, a context menu pops up. But you can see that it does not contain the copy path button. Then you had to choose an alternate way to get the Copy path option.

It takes time while copy the paths of a lot of files. Hence, you can permanently put the copy path option in the primary context menu. This will reduce the extra click to get the copy path option.

For this feature, you need to use the Automator program of Mac OS.

  • Simply type in “Automator” in the search bar of the file tab in Finder. You can also go to “Utilities” under “Go” and look for Automator.
  • Now, click on the “Automator” icon to launch it.
  • Select the “Service” option in the following dialogue.

  • After that, click on Choose button to create a customized option.
  • From the search bar, type Copy to clipboard.
  • Now, drag “Copy To Clipboard” to the right side of the box.

  • Finally, configure a new service with two options using “Service Receives Selected” as files. Then click on the file following the Save button to save the service as “Copy File path.”

How Do I Create A Folder Path?

Folder path is the directory where a file or folder is saved on your Mac. So, often the path is created by default.

The folder path allows you to jump from folder to folder directly. Select the Go menu from the Finder option of Mac OS. You will get an option named Enclosing Folder and recent folder. You can choose the folder according to your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Go through these questionnaires to learn more about the file path’s technical issues.

How to find a path of the file on the Mac terminal?

You have to select Terminal Service from the “Utilities” option under the “Go” menu of the Finder in Mac OS. After that, all you need is to drag and drop the target file in Terminal Program.

The file path will be shown in the dialogue box. It can be copied using the Command+C button after highlighting the path.

Is the path the directory or the file?

The path is the location or address of the directory or file. Navigating this path, you can go to the location of a directory. And it is similar to any files, documents, etc.

For different functions, the patch can be either absolute or relative. For a directory or a File, an absolute path is widely used.

Where is the file path?

The file path of a directory or file is embedded within the file. It can be found in different ways; You can use the easiest way to find file paths, which is to look into the File Information or Properties.

Alongside, you can copy the file path from the context menu or use the “Go To Folder” option. File paths can also be determined in the Terminal software using the same way.


Now that you have learned about the procedures to get file path mac, you do not need to install any third-party applications. It is recommended to use shortcut methods instead of “Go To Folder” or Terminal.

But adding a custom service to your context menu makes it easier and more direct to copy file paths easily. This will save your time, and loads of data can be collected in a minimum amount of time.

I am a professional laptop and computer troubleshooter, tech editor who loves to talk about technology and software. My passion is electronics devices. Follow me on social media.

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